The Vatican is the first state to create a public university to respond to the global crisis of meaning

Pope Francis establishes the University of Sense as a “civil university educational organization based in Vatican City State,” through the issuance of a chirograph on August 15. The university is autonomous and will be managed by the Scholas Occurrentes International Educational Movement.

In the statement, the Holy Father affirms that “Scholas as a community that educates, as an intuition that grows, opens the doors of the University of Meaning with students of all realities, languages and creeds so that no one is left out when what is teaches is not a thing but life itself.”

In the midst of the global crisis due to the pandemic, the Holy Father in a virtual message stated: “in this new crisis that humanity faces today, where culture has proven to have lost its vitality, I want to celebrate that Scholas, as a community that educates, like an intuition that grows, open the doors of the University of Sense. Because educating is looking for the meaning of things.”

Prof. Mpho Tshivhase of the University of Pretoria, Prof. Stefania Travagnin of the University of London, Prof. Souleymane Bachir Diagne of the University of Columbia and Prof. Diane collaborated on the realization of the manifesto of the University of Meaning. Moore of Harvard University, among others, agreed on the importance of creating a global university body that responds to the need to reimagine education, putting the person in their uniqueness and the community as an expression of plurality at the center. . A welcoming and creative place where everyone can feel welcome and participate. An atypical university that, as Plato says, “has no place because it is everywhere.” A very small seed that can become a very large tree, where the roots are in the teachings of Pope Francis and in the experience of Scholas; a local and global, intercultural, interreligious and intergenerational university.

Learning is nourished by all the languages of scientific and humanistic knowledge, art, technology and life experiences. This university feeds the soul and knows how to distinguish what is simply useful from what is indispensable, it helps not to lose sight of what is essential, because man does not live by bread alone.


Since 2013, Scholas, as an International Educational Movement created by Pope Francis, has been carrying out educational experiences with young people of different faiths and cultures on the 5 continents in response to the deep thirst for meaning, so present in these times.

Since 2015, Scholas began developing networking with public and private universities to create, within them, the concept of the Scholas Chair to work together in the areas, not only of extension but also of teaching and research.

Since 2017, annually, the universities that are part of the Scholas Chairs network share, through a world congress, their results and achievements to strengthen this methodology and unite research with field work.

Since 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Pope Francis celebrates and invites Scholas to promote this initiative of Meaning at the university level.

Since 2021 Scholas brought together Prof. Mpho Tshivhase from the University of Pretoria, Prof. Stefania Travagnin from the University of London, Prof. Souleymane Bachir Diagne from the University of Columbia and Prof. Diane Moore from the University from Harvard among others to develop together the manifesto of the University of Sense.

Since 2022, Scholas has been carrying out meaningful experiences with teachers and university students in Latin America and Europe who today have various academic recognitions and are part of the training proposal for various careers and universities.

Since August 15, 2023, the University of Sense has been established by the Holy Father as a civil legal entity based in the Vatican City State.